Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Rest of the Weekend

J always feels the urge to have a steak while we're staying with my mom. So, on Friday night when we stayed at the hotel so that we could have showers and soak in the hot tub, she indulged that desire when we had dinner at TGI Friday's. She and I both had the Jack Daniels New York strip. I found mine unpleasantly lukewarm, but wasn't in the mood to speak up about it. The flavor was fine and our service was terrific and I had already spoken up about the heat (or lack thereof). My mom had a portabella sandwich and we all shared the spinach artichoke dip. We also split the hot apple concoction between the three of us. It was fine, too, although I could have been perfectly happy without it. I hate when I go out to dinner and end up thinking dinner was fine. Not even good, but fine.

The next day, when I proposed grabbing a bite to eat before hitting the museum, J wanted to go to Friday's again. I get so bored with returning to the same place over & over. Besides that, I really wanted to go for Chinese. "Ethnic" food is not usually J's first choice, although she usually quite enjoys it once I've forced my will on her. I thought the Rice Bowl would have more options for my veggie mom, too. However, to thank my sweetest for hiking a treacherous hill in the middle of the night and for climbing up & down a ladder to pee in a bucket at night, I drove us to Friday's. I had the potstickers, J got pina colada chicken wings and my ma had the green bean fries. They are very little like green beans and very much like fried batter. Skip the mac & cheese bites, too. They are intolerably bland, especially when you've had the zingy and delicious ones at the Winking Lizard Tavern.

Back at The Homeplace, we had leftovers from Thursday for dinner. I forgot to post about the appetizers we had in my Thanksgiving post. Since we ate more of them Saturday, this is a perfect place to make up for my posting deficiency. I set out a platter of cheese and apples. We had Mt. Tam (Cowgirl Creamery's lush triple cream), some kind of farmhouse cheese J picked that had an unpleasant fruity note to it (I should add that everyone but me liked it) and some parmesan left over from the parmesan rice my mom made. The apples were Pink Ladies, which are one of our favorite varieties. I love Winesaps above all others, but J likes Pink Ladies best. The leftovers of the other appetizer we had on Thanksgiving were up the hill, but I'll put the recipe for it here:
Artichoke Dip
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
A dash of garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix ingredients together in 2 qt. casserole or 8x8 baking pan. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or bread rounds. I favor Triscuits for this and my wife likes Wheat Thins.

The parmesan rice my mom made to supplement the scant leftover mashed potatoes is a dish that she has made my whole life. It is absolutely wonderful. In high school, my friend Patricia & I would make that & have it with artichoke hearts for our dinner.
Parmesan Rice
2/3 c. long-grain rice (I like jasmine rice)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. grated parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper

Cook the rice. Stir in the butter. Mix everything else together. Stir into rice. Cook 5 minutes.

For Sunday lunch, we had leftover turkey straight from the foil in the car, along with some gas station chips and King Dons. We were driving without a lunch break in order to get home before the boys did. That turkey was fantastic!

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